Secrets to the Best Sweet-and-Sour Brisket

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I ’ve posted several brisket recipes in the past, but bar none, this year’s brisket is the best I’ve ever made.  It’s so perfectly tender that it melts in your mouth.

The Perfect Brisket

Let me tell you, I’ve had my fair share of tough, chewy brisket in my life. After years of trial and error, I finally found the trick to making a perfectly tender brisket! The next time you’re at the butcher counter, ask for the “second cut” of brisket. They’ll know exactly what you mean. This cut of meat has way more marbling, layers of fat, which ultimately make this cut of meat more flavorful when you cook it for a long period of time.

I was very close to avoiding brisket for Rosh Hashanah this year when a friend of mine expressed how badly she wanted it. We were going to keep it simple and make a roast chicken! Of course, I couldn’t let my friend down. I sent my husband to the store to buy a piece of brisket and he came home with a 16 lb. piece of meat! After cutting off a piece big enough for my crowd, I froze the leftovers.

So, what kind of sauce did I make to go with this beautiful cut of brisket? I used a combination of several ingredients that happened to be in my fridge, and voila! I had a sweet-and-sour sauce ready to go.

With a Fuji apple tree right in my backyard, I happened to have homemade slow cooker apple butter in my fridge. You can find apple butter in grocery stores or farmers markets if you don’t have time to make your own.

I was inspired by a friend of mine who had been raving about a cranberry relish that she used for her brisket.  I found a jar in my pantry of Apple-Cranberry Chutney from Stonewall Kitchen and it proved to be the perfect tangy compliment to my homemade apple butter.

These two ingredients inspired the sweet-and-sour sauce for my brisket. I combined ketchup, cranberry chutney, apple butter, apple cider vinegar,  brown sugar, chicken broth, salt, and pepper.

This brisket cooks for 5-6 hours until it’s perfectly tender. Let me tell you, this incredible “second cut” of brisket combined with my sweet-and-sour sauce turned out to be a home run with my guests! Everyone said this is, by far, the best brisket I have ever made.

Let me know if you think so too!

Sweet-and-Sour Brisket

Prep Time:10 minutes| Serves 8
  • 4 lbs brisket second cut
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 jar cranberry chutney the Stonewall kitchen brand is my favorite
  • 1 cup apple butter
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 onions sliced
  • 6 carrots peeled and sliced into chunks
  • 1 Tbsp salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a roasting pan on top of stove.
  • Add onions. Cook on medium high heat until onions are translucent.
  • Turn up to high heat and add brisket. Sear on both sides. Add the rest of ingredients. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and place in oven.
  • Cover with foil and place in oven for 1 hour at 400. Turn oven down to 350. Cook until tender, another 4-5 hours.
  • Take out of oven. Slice and put back into sauce. Keep covered with foil in 300 degree oven until ready to serve.

With all of the beautiful apples from our tree, I also made an apple cake this year! Stay tuned for the recipe.

This brisket is the perfect love letter to fall.  Now that I know about the second cut, I’ll never go back. Don’t just save this recipe for a holiday, make it all year long!

I hope you’ll take my advice and try this perfectly tender brisket recipe on your own. Let me know your favorite way to make brisket in the comments section below.




  • Pamela Morgan

    The Pamela Morgan lifestyle brand reflects Pamela’s decades of experience in the hospitality world through delicious and engaging multimedia content. She share her tips, ideas, travel adventures, and experience in the food and lifestyle realm through her bi-weekly blog Flirting with Flavors, YouTube channel, and social media channels. Visit her website.

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